The Belly and the Members

ONE fine day it occurred to the Members of the Body that they were doing all the work and the Belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting, and after a long discussion, decided to go on strike until the Belly consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two, the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth refused to receive it, and the Teeth had no work to do.

But after a day or two the Members began to find that they themselves were not in a very active condition: the Hands could hardly move, and the Mouth was all parched and dry, while the Legs were unable to support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the Body, and that all must work together or the Body will go to pieces.

The moral of the story: Unity is Strength.

The Lion and Three Bulls

Three Bulls were grazing in a meadow, and were watched by a Lion, who longed to capture and eat them, but who felt he was no match for the three so long as they kept together; whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them.

So he began by false whispers and rumors to cause jealousy and distrust among them. This method worked so well that at last, the Bulls grew cold and unfriendly, and finally avoided each other, and fed each one by himself. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon ate all three.

The moral of the story: The quarrels of friends are the opportunities of foes.

The Trees and the Axe

A MAN came into a Wood one day and begged of the Trees the favor of a handle for his Axe. The Trees voted to sacrifice a young ash sapling.

The Man made the sapling into a handle and fixed it into the axe head, and soon set to work cutting down tree after tree. When Trees realized how the Man was using their gift, they cried "we have only ourselves to blame. The little we gave has cost us all: had we not sacrificed the rights of the ash, we might ourselves have stood for ages."

The moral of the story: Those who sacrifice the rights of others deserve to lose their own rights and often do.